RB quarterback Christian Lewis gets brought down by Eastlake's #43 Joshua McCurty and Louis Santos behind on a keeper after a short gain.
For the past three years, Eastlake and Rancho Bernardo’s football programs have gone in opposite directions.
Rancho Bernardo caught fire, going 34-6. Included for the Broncos was a state Division III-A title in 2015.
Conversely, Eastlake, a perennial 10-plus game winner, has posted a 14-19 record, bottoming out at 2-9 a year ago.
After both teams suffered major losses to graduation, opening the season Friday night in the North County would at least answer whether Tristan McCoy’s Broncos could continue their rise or if Eastlake could regain the momentum lost to coaching changes and transfers.
The Titans were the team that emerged most impressively as a monster line helped the young skill players prevail in a 21-3 season-open victory.
“We wanted to control the line of scrimmage,” said coach Dean Tropp Jr., which the Titans certainly did, limiting RB to 70 yards rushing and 87 passing. Conversely, Eastlake rushed for 180 yards and passed for 198.
Tropp said before the game there was no way to separate his two quarterbacks but Daniel Amon (7 of 12 for 142 yards) won that job, tossing TD passes of 36 and 40 yards.
RB’s Matt Araiza, one of the nation’s top kickers, showed plenty with a pair of touchbacks as well as a 30-yard field goal to open the scoring. But Araiza also stood out on defense, catching a batted ball for an interception and stealing the ball from the receiver for a fumble recovery.
McCoy said this team is like Christmas morning.
“You know what you think you’re going to get, but you’re not sure,” he said. “I have a good feel about them.”
Brand is a freelance writer.